Suspects killed in roadside shoot-out

2010-11-09 00:00

THREE men suspected of committing various crimes in the Durban area were shot dead by the Cato Manor organised crime unit members on the Nagle Dam Road in the KwaXimba area, Cato Ridge, yesterday morning.

The area resembled an action movie scene with plainclothes officers taking every bit of evidence they could find inside the cordoned-off area while uniformed officers moved up and down keeping bystanders at bay.

At the centre of the road was a white Ford Bantam the three men had used.

Two lifeless bodies were lying face down in the scorching sun on the verge of the road next to the vehicle.The driver’s body was sprawled on the hot tarmac facing the sky on the other side of the vehicle.

The Witness was initially told that the three had held up a cash-in-transit vehicle, but it transpired at the scene that the men were being followed by the police

After they were pulled over, they allegedly opened fire and the police retaliated.

A bystander who lives in the area said he was at a nearby store when he heard gunshots.

“When we got to the scene we saw these dead men and there’s talk of a cash-in-transit heist, but I don’t believe that criminals could pull off such a mission wearing these things,” he said pointing to the push-ins [sandals] worn by two of the dead men.

KZN police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said the police had been searching for the men in relation to cases dating back to 2005.

He said police were tipped off that the trio were spotted driving in the Cato Ridge area and the Cato Manor organised crime unit went to the area where the shoot-out ensued.

“When police tried to pull them off the road, the suspects stopped and opened fire. Police returned fire, fatally wounding all three men.

“This is a major victory for police in the province as it is evident that these men were linked to numerous robberies in the province,” said Naicker.

The men were wanted for a house robbery in Phoenix in 2005, ATM bombings in High Flats and Izingolweni in 2007 and 2008 respectively, and three robberies that occurred between June and August at mosques in Verulam.

Two .38 revolvers and a 9 mm pistol, all with erased serial numbers, were recovered from the suspects. There was no report that any officers had been injured in the shoot-out.

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